Schaffer Library

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Schaffer Newsletter: Issue 1

Bassett Mt. Fire

This issue of the Schaffer Library newsletter contains the following topics and highlights as outlined below. To read the full content of these topics, view this issue's PDF here.


Fall Workshops & Events

  • Research Tools & Strategies
  • Digital Scholarship & Data
  • Permanent Collections & Exhibitions

Access Library Resources & Services Remotely

  • Remote Research Help
  • Access Resources: On-campus & remote
  • Bloomberg Terminal: Remote Access
  • Don't Forget! You can access periodicals with free personal accounts

Updates from Special Collections & Archives

  • Hours
  • Become Part of Union History!
  • Digital Exhibition
  • The Bigelow Project

Jane Says...

By Jill Tominosky, Project Archivist

Plenty has been written/said about 19th century women’s diaries and journals giving the world a glimpse into women’s work, or the “female narrative”. This is all important in understanding what these women did each day - chronicling activities of daily life from which researchers and scholars can learn. But still, something is lost within these records. Specifically, the woman’s identity is hidden in the archives, lost behind her family or married name. When we, as archivists and historians choose to identify these women in this way, there is a loss of information in the content and context of the record. These women had personalities, identities beyond their fathers and husbands. My research seeks to recognize this idea through a specific lens of a current collection in process. The John Bigelow papers collection at Union College houses over 80 linear feet and includes over 20,000 letters; 17 bound diaries; 1 loose-leaf diary; 18 bound scrapbooks; and 1 linear foot of mixed archival collections [including letters, notes, ephemera, and working papers associated with specific professional projects]. Within this collection are 2 document boxes of “Mrs. Bigelow’s Journals,” which span about fifteen years of her life (1850-1865). “Mrs. Bigelow” was more than just a wife and mother. Jane, or Jenny to her friends and family, was a strong supporter of the arts, specifically the literary world. Along with a group of female friends, she helped to boost the careers of Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde in America, among others. In the few weeks I have been working with this collection, transcribing Jenny’s words, and reading about her feelings, her ideas, and her work in support of her husband’s career, I have found a witty, funny, and insightful woman about whom I want to learn more. With the support of the NEH CARES grant, I am able to assist in giving access to these journals, and other works in the collection, which will give us a deeper understanding of women in the mid-19th century, New York.

Notes: Although listed in Accession files as being a donation of General Bryan Conrad, the Bigelow Collection was actually a bequest of Charlotte Harding Conrad, General Conrad’s wife and granddaughter of John & Jane Bigelow. Additionally, the original appraiser for the collection was a woman named Emily Driscoll, one of only a few women appraisers working in NYC in the 1950s.


Updates from the Permanent Collection & Exhibitions

  • The Permanent Collection is now online!
  • What's your favorite artwork on campus?

To read the full content of these topics, view this issue's PDF here.